I am completely alone in my quest for improvement. I find myself preaching to family members who just keep saying draw less and work harder in school. I am a completing my pre-requisites for a BFA Industrial Design degree right now. I don't want to wait for Fall 2013 to begin drawing at 20 years old! I want to be great by the time I'm 20 and amazing before I'm old enough to drink.. I am going to be the most amazing artist ever so help make me better than you guys!
Here are some recent sketches. You can see how bad my imagined head and figure are.
Okay that sounds logical. My figures are so embarasing that I prioritized them. I have a book by Phil Metzger on perspective I'll start studying from. I really am desperate to draw people better regardless of my college major.
I have over a dozen books but I believe the best ones are:
The Natural Way To Draw - Nicolaides
Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain - Edwards
Universal Principles of Design - Butler
The Art of Perspective - Metzger
Cyclopedia Anatomicae - Feher
Animator's Survival Kit - Williams (animation is a big dream of mine, I know I have a long road ahead but I enjoy the journey)
I actually started out the exact same as you with regards to wanting to draw the figure at any pose, proportion and perspective that I could imagine in my head, and I still am busting my ass to try and get that down better. What helped me to finally get my head around drawing the figure correctly, however, was to learn as much about perspective as I have, and if you've looked at my sketchbook you can see that I still have a tons more to learn with regards to it. I always feel like a broken record when commenting on SB's, mainly because the one thing I see a lack of is a solid, foundational understanding of drawing with perspective. It just doesn't make sense to me now that I've been using it, because I can't imagine not using it anymore. Loomis said in his Successful Drawing that it's the most valuable tool you'll have as an artist, and the more I've studied it the more I believe it. As far as studying it, Loomis wasn't the best option for me to begin with. I found that most of his text and diagrams were a bit advanced for me to digest when I was just starting out, and frankly it kinda turned me off for a while from learning it. I probably felt like most did and put it off or just felt like I wouldn't actually have need for it. Obviously I was wrong. What turned me on, however, was Scott Robertson's Basic Drawing dvd. It's very informative, easy to follow and a highly practical way to start perspective drawing. After that, there are TONS of free options on the internet, Youtube being a great one to get information from, even though there could always be more. (After enough time I plan on starting a series focusing on perspective drawing, anatomy, and figure drawing as I continue to learn them and delve deeper). As far as books go, since you're interested in Industrial Design I would check out Design Sketching, Learning Curves and their basic design sketching book (the name eludes me at the moment, sorry). For figure drawing, Michael Hampton's Figure Drawing : Design and Invention cannot be beaten, in my opinion. The constructions he uses to draw the human form are very mechanical, easily digestible and go great with learning perspective drawing. After that I would look at Glenn Vilppu for more advanced figure drawing, since he deals with gesture and construction from the mind. Sorry for a long-winded essay of sorts, but hopefully some of this stuff will help guide you along. Keep it up.
Thank you so much Mr. Frenick, I've just purchased the Gnomon DVD you were talking about by Scott Robertson. I really do enjoy studying Loomis and I will continue studying his figure drawing as well as Robertson's DVD. I can see now the point you were making about how critical perspective is to good drawing.
Every now and then I have some artistic epiphany where something suddenly makes sense to me. The past few days I have realized, thanks to Frenik, that I have no sense of perspective. Without good perspective the depth of all my objects is incorrect which makes them hideous.
I've spent the past 3 days working to fix this problem and hope to be able to create something worth looking at.
Finals week is now over so I will have a good 3 weeks to improve!
Do you guys have any tips on how to motivate yourself to spend 4+ hours daily on studies?? It is my biggest desire to improve and I probably spend between 1-2 hours a day